South Carolina woman wins shock suit

A South Carolina woman has become the first survivor of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT, shock treatment) to win a jury verdict and a large money judgment in compensation for extensive permanent amnesia and cognitive disability caused by the procedure.

Peggy S. Salters, 60, sued Palmetto Baptist Medical Center in Columbia, as well as the three doctors responsible for her care. As the result of an intensive course of outpatient ECT in 2000, she lost all memories of the past 30 years of her life, including all memories of her husband of three decades, now deceased, and the births of her three children. Ms. Salters held a Masters of Science in nursing and had a long career as a psychiatric nurse, but lost her knowledge of nursing skills and was unable to return to work after ECT.

The jury awarded her $635,177 in compensation for her inability to work. The malpractice verdict was against the referring doctor, Eric Lewkowiez. The jury could not return a verdict against the other two doctors because of one holdout vote for acquittal. The hospital settled its liability for an undisclosed sum early in the trial.

Former patients have reported devastating, permanent amnesia and cognitive impairment since ECT was first invented in 1938, but that has not hindered the treatment’s popularity with doctors. The first lawsuit for ECT amnesia, Marilyn Rice v. John Nardini, was brought exactly thirty years ago, and dozens of suits have followed. While there have been a few settlements, including one for half a million dollars, no former patient has won a case until now.

Psychiatrist Peter Breggin, who served as Ms. Salters’ expert witness, was also the expert in Rice v. Nardini, and has appeared for plaintiffs many times over the past three decades without success. Psychologist Mary E. Shea presented extensive neuropsychological testing proving to the jury’s satisfaction that Ms. Salters suffers dementia due to ECT brain damage.

Expert for the defense was Charles Kellner of New Jersey, formerly of the Medical University of South Carolina. He testified that giving Ms. Salters’ 13 shocks in 19 days, instead of 26 days as is usual, was not a violation of the American Psychiatric Association guidelines. However, his assertions that Ms. Salters’ severe suicidality justified the controversial treatment could not be substantiated by the medical records. 82-year-old Max Fink of New York, widely regarded as the “grandfather of shock” and the author of many books and articles on ECT, was scheduled to testify for the defense, but in the end only watched the trial from the courtroom. The defense did not call him as a witness due to incriminating statements made under oath at his deposition.

For the past three decades, defense attorneys have won case after case by the same strategy: browbeating the jury with the plaintiff’s psychiatric history, playing upon the prevailing cultural notions that mental patients are incapable of telling the truth and doctors don’t lie; even claiming that mental illness causes amnesia and brain damage. Even neurological testing showing brain damage has been brushed aside. Peggy Salters’ case is the first in which a former ECT patient has been believed. She says she sees it as a victory for all ECT survivors.

Attorney for Ms. Salters, Mark Hardee, can be reached at (803) 799-0905. Peggy Salters can be reached at (803)
736-4444. Fink’s deposition is available from either of them.

Additional information:

Case 03CP4004797
Richland County, South Carolina

Peggy S. Salters vs. Palmetto Health Alliance, Inc., d/b/a Palmetto Baptist Medical Center; Robt. Schnackenberg, M.D., Individually, Eric Lewkowiez, M.D., Individually, Columbia Psychiatric Associates, P.A.; and Kenneth Huggins, M.D., Individually

Filed October 03, 2003
Decided June 17, 2005

Comments (35)

evelynDecember 23rd, 2006 at 9:03 pm

im a 43 year old lady,i recieved ect treatments, in the past 3 years,sometimes i get very confused ,i forget things right away,i keep forgeting the names of people i have known for years ,i ask my self if this is a side effect from the ects,i didnt forgot what happen to me when i was a child but i keep forgetting every from the present,its that normal?

DeleneFebruary 5th, 2007 at 6:00 am

I just got done with getting ECT I had bi-laderal done, I do not notice any chances at all…my depression is as strong as ever, I fill it was a total waste of my time and money, anyone else have the same feeling?

renee whiteJune 14th, 2007 at 7:59 am

I had my shocks done at baptist. 7 in all. I was very suicidal and meds were not working. I must have given my consent but do not remember. My husband was totally against it but was ignored. How can someone consent when they are mentally ill? I have permanent memory loss and have a hard time with short term memory– I think. My depression has lifted but from my research know it will return. I wouldn’t have done it if I knew about the law suit.

nanette roederJune 21st, 2007 at 12:59 pm

I have had ect in the past. My concern is that it has long term and short term memory loss. It has been around 7yrs since my treatment. I still to this day have problems with memory. My whole family and friends saw a difference with me and always forgetting stuff. I was told that the ECT treatments got rid of the past memories but not the future problems.I still have tons of trouble in my life today in which i do blame ect for whats going on with me. I could not tie my own shoes, my son had to learn me how to it was humiliating. I was an office manager of a school for challenged students. My job consisted of typing [with out looking]filing which i can no longer do. Just general office responsabilities.
I have no memory from my past and i am having difficulties today.

Thank you for listing to me if there is anyone out there having the same problems please let me know i am not alone.

nanette roeder

nanette roederOctober 17th, 2007 at 6:48 pm

I am so very excited today because i have read other people are having the same difficulties as I am having.after ect express the feeling of knowing i am not alone. please if anyone else has had these types of symtoms or anything close please,please email me. It is so awsome to know i am not alone. i do not want to sue anyone. I want others to know they are not alone. I want people to know as well as doctors this is real. It may happen to 1 in 100 people, but I am that 1 in a 100. thank you so much for listening to me.

nanette roederOctober 17th, 2007 at 6:53 pm

please let me know what side effects you have had if any during or after your ect treatment. please see above and email me at gwirz@sbcglobal.net once again thank you

nanette roederNovember 1st, 2007 at 7:25 pm

please let me know our experiances you have had with your ect treatments.

tom pisilloMarch 14th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Is there anyway I continue to be informed on other successful suits and actions taken to prevent further abuse.

Rachel PittmanMarch 28th, 2008 at 11:28 am

I have just finished 6 ECT treatments and have forgotten a whole lot of things I should remember. I am scared of how bad this could be. I am an insurance agent and have to know a great deal of information to issue my policies. It scares me to think I won’t be able to go back to work and preform my job like I once did. Any suggestions?? I called my Dr. last night and told him I wouldn’t be attending the next 6 treatments and he was fine with that.

nanette roederApril 5th, 2008 at 11:49 am

I am responding to everyone who questions about loss of memory after ect. I have no words of wisdom only hang in there. It has been 8yrs since my ect. I am very little better. I now can tie my shoes. My son had to relearn me how to tie them after my ect. However I keep hangin in there. I have gotten some of knowledge back in regards to typing and filing (which I could not do after the ect). I still to this day have very,very, little memory of my past both negative and positive. Someone may say something that may trigger a memory. But most of the time I look at them like they are crazy. It is a very big burden on my family. They will tell me something and I have no clue as to what they are refering too. My family will do something and they say “you said to” and I do not remember if I said it or not so I can’t argue. I just keep pluggin along. It is great if you can keep a journal to measure your growth after ect. You can look back and see little things that you did or can do. I feel this is very important to keep a journal. At first you will feel as if there is no change. But little by little you will see small changes. Although miniscule it will all add up. I would like to see one day a support group for people who have had or are thinking of having ect. For now this web site is my support group. And if I can help anyone in anyway I’ll be there. I will NEVER recommend ECT for anyone. Even if severely depressed. They are not in there right minds to say yes or no. And most families are not informed enough to the side effects. Once again I have no words of wisdom, I just hope I can help one person.

cillaApril 16th, 2008 at 5:49 pm

It was 3 years ago this month that I began ECT and life as I knew it ended. After 29 treatments in 11 months, I was becoming physically ill for weeks after each ECT. I stopped going.

I’ve lost most of my life’s memories and my short term is sporatic. I am also no longer able to react quickly to anything. There’s usually a 10-15 second lapse in time while my mind is trying to tell my body what to do. I try to carry on conversations and often I can’t remember the words to say. I know what I want to say, but the right word doesn’t come to me. It’s difficult to do simple math in my head. I rely on a calculator. It’s extrememly frustrating! These days I have to rely on a couple friends and my daughter to tell me things I’ve done, places I’ve been, people’s names… I should also mention that becuase of my severe depression, I had to leave my job – one that I loved and had been at for many years. I live off of SS Disability now. I will be 45 in one week.

I was never told about side effects with ECT and the research I did online at the time was positive.

I would also never recommend ECT to anyone and I would do everything in my power to talk someone out of it. News that the SC woman won a lawsuit is encouraging.

I also keep a daily “diary” of sorts and have since I was a kid. That helps me at times, but also makes me more frustrated other times because the memory is gone. It’s words on paper, no longer in my head.

DonnaSeptember 14th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

I woke up in April 2002 in a strange home, with a man I didn’t know (who was my husband) prior to that day it was 1998 I was working as administrator of Adult Care Facility. What happened during this gap of time I have read in medical records, and been told by family and friends. I woke on social security disability with my “husband” as my payee; the last year i worked I was making over 50 thousand a year. I now “SUFFER” constant word dis-association; inablity to follow even short conversations; inablity to remember any work related details; inablity to remember being married; cannot remember family gatherings, my son growing up. I will be in the middle of a conversation and my mind simply shuts down, I’m lost to myself and to any simple day to day normal conversations. I find in the middle of conversations I simple cannot find the simpliest word, I go brain dead and thus the conversation stops. I SUFFER FROM POST ECT BRAIN DISFUNCTION. I don’t know where I went but I would sure like to find myself again and be able to live a normal life. I can be sitting in the living room alone and I get this overwhelming sinking feeling and I just fold into myself and I can not find my way out; it seems like forever but according to my “husband” it is short lived seconds to minutes, but it is so scary. I’m locked in the body I know with someone elses mind. I want compensation for my loss of myself could you please advise!!

Thomas PisilloSeptember 14th, 2008 at 9:14 pm

If anyone who has recieved these treatments would be interested in a way to use the effects of these treatments to there advantage beside law suits, please feel free to contact me and learn more. I have a way to makes these side effect work for me in a positive way even though it was not the intent of the persons who gave them. My email address is pisillo@chibardun.net

CarlyMarch 18th, 2009 at 1:10 am

Hi.
I am 22 years of age and in the process of undergoing ECT. I suffer from Bipolar affective disorde 2 (more so depression than mania)
I can no longer work as I have serious bouts of depression in which I can physically not stop crying. I have attempted to take my life on many occasions and I am very excited to have the opportunity to try this thrapy as I have been o various medications for such a long time. am very lucky to have my mum, my other family and friends who love me and support me, but sometimes even that is not enough…I would love some more info. on this procedure, any info that someone may thin I’ll find relevant would be extremely appreciated.Everyone on here is so brave to share their stories and to help others.
Carly

r.johnsonMarch 24th, 2009 at 8:55 pm

what seems missing here is the life/death issues suicidal patients are facing… ect is not a front linee treatment…and before u think i am not qualified to respond
i had 6 bilateral treatments ater 90 day treatment with meds/ ect gave me my life back staayed in weeklly therapy aand meds for 7 years/ reinstituted ect with maintenance ect for 5 yearss/ totaal of 91 treatments beforee cost st greaterhan benefit i have profound mememeory loss but i am alliveee

nanette roederApril 5th, 2009 at 7:23 am

good day R.Johnson,

you are very fortunate that ect works for you. unfortunaly it didnt work for me,. you are right on saying life/death. had i been more informed, and mainly my family to know all of the effects things may be different. I was in no shape to make a decition my self. i was very suicidal and depressed. i was told that ect would wipe away the negative that has happend in my life. So untrue for me. I hope that no one goes through what i have. i am alive too, however going from an executive secretary to a person who can spell there own name, it is quite a differance. i had to learn to live life all over again. i have stated in the past comments that my son had to teach me how to tye my shoes. I am slowly learning to live again after ect. with medication and becoming aware when i am very depressed and suicidal to seek treatment at a hospital. not ect.

once again i am glad it worked for you and you have many years to enjoy life. for me i am trying to get through one day at a time short and long term memory. and my whole family is against ect they have seen what it did to me.

God bless, take care
let me know the positive of what ect did for you. it my give me hope to know there is life after ect.

nanette roeder

Thomas PisilloApril 5th, 2009 at 9:43 am

It’s very important to have your thyroid checked, high or low can be the cause of your on going symttoms, now and when they first started.

JennineMay 22nd, 2009 at 11:49 pm

I had ect over 20 years ago and I still feel victimized by it. I wasn’t really a candidate. They just didn’t know what to do with me. Memories of my childhood are nonexistent and I know I once had them. I had a friend and I swear her doctor killed her with ect. Her pulmonologist said she could not withstand any more ect because of her high blood pressure, but the psychiatrist kept getting court orders for more. Same psychiatrist a nurse told my husband to fire “because he’s dangerous and is going to kill someone some day.” Pretty strong words for a nurse. She died of an aneurysm Oct. 2003. I wish her family had sued. I am not a fan of ect (or this particular doctor, obviously).

r. johnsonMay 23rd, 2009 at 6:26 am

My story is long and complicated- I consider ECT a “last ditch effort” treatment for patients who have tried all other medications/means/therapy without success for treatment of depression. This was my condition in 1988- I received a series of 6 treatments- my life returned- I had minimal memory loss.

Continued in weekly therapy and medication. ~ 10 years later, I had devastating relapse. Again, ECT series was taken without success- series was repeated. most were bi-lateral as unilateral gave no relief

After total of 91- my memory loss was too great- the short time of balance ECT gave me did not balance with the physical cost.

I have had to quit working- because of my memory loss- with my physician’s help, medications adjusted many times- continued therapy- supportive husband- my life is positive except for the huge memory gaps- mine occurs more as a reference to an event by someone… and I have no recollection of it whatsoever-
Has anyone heard about the man who was fighting the forced ECT in court?

nanette roederMay 26th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

its been 10yrs since my ect. it took 25+ years away from me. i cry at night when i can’t rememver the simplist things. i would start my house cleaning and forget where all my cleaning supplies were/ there has been flashing memories come and go i see the moment however i don’t remember it in my heart. yet all the “negative” memories have not left. the short glimpses do help a little. some people have had much success with ect. unfortunatly i wasn’t one of them. If i had my way clients should be informed of ALl side effects positive and negative. let the familys and friends know also. my family would be the first to jump in line to let them know the side effects they were uninformed about. everyone in my life are still in disbelif about what ect did for me. nothing but take away a beautiful life with 2 wonderful boys. ect took that away. they will tell me something and then come back and say it again. i finally told them if that’s what i said then i must have said it..

today is one day at a time sometimes 1hr at a time but that is the way i have learned to cope with myself and family. i do journal and it has helped my tremendously. its sort of like a cheat sheet. i am alive still depressed and bipolar. please try to keep your chin up. maybe you will be able to have a break through that you will be able to share with all ect survivors.

God Bless your in my prayers

denise.sJune 30th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

I have just finished my 6th treatment and was wondering if anyone else has migraines from one session to the next..i don’t feel any better actually feel worse but everyone keeps saying that it takes at least 10 to see results. I am forgetting tons of things but am told that it will all return. The place i get it done the people have to poke me multiple times to get an i.v. started and then they give me that shot to dry up my secretions and usually leave a bruise..i cry all the time now and was wondering if anyone has stuck it out 3 times a week for 10-12 visits and had success. If I knew i would get better i would do anything..i don’t want the misery of the last 6 to be for nothing if there is a chance. I am a 38 year old woman

nanette roederJuly 1st, 2009 at 5:19 pm

i have written many times on this site. I would like to give a glimmer of hope. I had ect done ten yrs. ago. I lost my short and long term memory. it was devestating. however lately i will get a little glance of the past and sometimes i can put that glimse with actually remembering an incident. i get very excited and hopefull at those times, yet i am brought down when i can’t keep it in my mind it’s like 5minutes of normalacy. Anyone who knows me, knows not to give me anything to hold. i will lose it. my short term memory is really frustrateing. i have a granddaughter now and she doesn’t know why i lose everything or don’t remember playing house the day before. i am grateful that at least i can play house with her. at the beginning i couldn’t get out of bed. ect is a terrable thing in my life and please surround yourself with people who love you and are willing to go as far as you need them too. not everyone will understand, your actions being different. your memory your lack of everyday knowledge. its baby steps and sometimes that seems to be to much for me. ect took all of my memories away. i was an unfortunatly one of the one in a thousand who loses everything.by their stats. i will be 47 this year. and i have a whole life to grow still. reading my journals, looking at pictures trying to trigger some memory. i don’t know why this has happened to me (taking away all good and bad events in my upraising). keep in touch and know your not alone there are many people out there. i wish more people would log onto this site to share their lifes good bad or indifferent. it helps to hear someone is out there and your not alone. keep writing and inquiring about ect.

God Bless your in my prayers
nanette

r.johnsonJuly 1st, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Per headaches post ECT- immediately prior (or actually ~ hour before treatment, my doctor had me take 2 tylenol. I never had a headache after a treatment- and as I have said before, I have had 91. Most here dwell on the negative aspects of ECT- I share in the profound memory loss, yet I recognize ECT saved my life- No, I would not have any additional treatments- because I the costs outweigh the benefit- but if you suffer from debilitating depression, you must be on medication AND be seeing a professional on a regular basis. I have seen a psychiatrist weekly or be-weekly since 1988- Until 2000, I was able to function successfully in a high calibre career-with one series of treatment, I strongly believe ECT is worth it for severly depressed individuals- again, after all other methods have failed. After that, options must be reviewed carefully, with eyes open for the potential of memory loss aware- I knew I was losing memory, but I was suicidal- my choices were limited- more research needs to be done with long term ECT patients such as myself.

Jack R. McNeillDecember 2nd, 2009 at 3:31 pm

This comment is in response to Nanette’s comments of July 1, 2009.

First, Nanette, I am so sorry that you have suffered severe long term cognitive impairment as a result of your shock treatment 10 years ago.

I had shock treatment in 1972, and I still have serious shock treatment-caused cognitive impairment. I looked up the meaning of some of the following words I use, to be sure I understood what I was typing. Cognitive means “related to thinking, reasoning, and remembering”. Impairment means “the occurrence of a change for the worse”. So as a result of my shock treatment, I had a change for the worse in regard to my thinking, reasoning, and remembering. It sounds like you did too.

Are you aware of the published research of Dr. Harold Sackheim of Columbia University in 2006 in regard to the effect of shock treatment on cognition? He wrote, “This study provides the first evidence in a large (347 people who had shock treatment) prospective sample that the adverse(negative, harmful) cognitive effects can persist (last) for and extended(continued for a long period of time) period, and that they characterize routine (typical, usual) treatment with ECT in community settings”.

So Nanette, when you wrote “I was unfortunately one of the one in a thousand…”, I wonder if you have been told something that is mistaken. According to Dr. Sackheim’s research, shock-treatment-caused cognitive impairment is routine—usual and typical—rather than extremely rare.

I have found very helpful a book by a lady who had shock treatment in the 1980′s , Linda Andre. Her book is entitled “Doctors of Deception—What They Don’t Want You To Know About Shock Treatment” (Rutgers University Press, 2009). It helped me understand a lot about stuff I had never known.

I recently e-mailed her and said that now that Dr. Sackheim has acknowledged that shock treatment causes long lasting damage, I think the question now becomes, “How do we recover from the damage that shock treatment has done to us?” She said “it’s the right question, but nobody’s asking it”. I’m thinking maybe those of us who have been damaged by shock treatment should start asking it.

Best wishes, Nanette.

Jack

Jack R.December 4th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Continuing from the above comments, I have learned from Linda Andre’s book that shock treatment was first done in Italy in 1938, and there has been controversy in regard to the cognitive effects of shock treatment ever since— over seven decades now.

But scientific research on the effects of shock treatment on cognition with a large sample of people was not done until 68 years later, in 2006.
However, now a second large scale scientific study has been done, in July, 2007, by psychiatrist Dr. Glenda MacQueen. She used 60 subjects—20 diagnosed with bipolar disorder who had had shock treatment; 20 diagnosed with bipolar who had not had shock treatment; and 20 who had not been diagnosed with any psychiatric illness. She also has found that “ECT routinely leads to chronic substantial cognitive defects.”

So now two scientific studies on the effects of shock treatment on cognition(memory, thinking, and reasoning)have been done, in 2006 and 2007. Both found that shock treatment has an adverse(negative) effect on cognition.

But guess what? I read the model consent form of the American Psychiatric Association(APA) that is used as a model by most hospitals who give shock treatment. You could look it up yourself. Just google up “ECT consent form”. The form was written by the same Dr. Sackheim who did the first large scale scientific study of ECT’s effect on cognition in 2006. It actually says, I think in paragraph 14, that “ECT improves memory.”

denise.sDecember 6th, 2009 at 8:30 am

I was just reading this link and saw someone with my first name had written on here..after reading it..realized it was me..how sad.. I lost all of my memories for the ~3 months around the ect. It has been 6 months since I stopped(only did 6 treatments). I dont remember people who came to visit me..kind of remember they were there but nothing about it. It is soo embarrassing. I dont remember a lot of other things but just keep thinking maybe I just didnt remember things well before. I am trying to work again and am scared to death..I am having to learn a new computer system and I just can’t get it. I told my doctor about my migraines and that I cried constantly and he would justsay ok and keep giving them to me.

I have been having therapy and tried every med but just dont know what to do. I think ECt was one of the worst things I did..My migraine lasted for about months after stopping tx. When you are so desperate to feel better you will try anything but I never thought it would be like this.

Jack R.December 7th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Dear Denise,

I am so sorry for the damage ECT has caused you. I had shock treatment in 1972. It is not okay with me that you had migraines and that you cried constantly. It is not okay with me that you have ECT-induced cognitive impairment. I also have ECT-induced cognitive impairment as a result of my shock treatment. I would doubt that it’s okay with other fellow ECT recipients that you have negative side effects from ECT.

Recent scientific research (Dr. Sackheim et al. in 2006 and Dr. MacQueen et al. in 2007) confirms that ECT routinely causes long term cognitive impairment.

Now that psychiatrists are beginning to acknowledge this fact, I think what is desperately needed is to do scientific research on how those of us with ECT-induced long term cognitive impairment can make progress in recovering from this condition.

The good news for me is that some of my memories have returned.

Best wishes,

Jack

Thomas PisilloDecember 7th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

the cause for most of these treatments is a thyroid disorder it was there before the treatments and is there after, only worse.

GALE BOSTICKJanuary 31st, 2017 at 5:03 pm

I AM SADDENED TO READ THIS CASE REGARDING PEGGY SALTERS. I WORKED WITH PEGGY MANY YEARS AGO AND SHE WAS A WONDERFUL, COMPASSIONATE NURSE. I AM HEARTBROKEN THAT THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY THAT SHE TRUSTED AND HONORED CAUSED HER SO MUCH DAMAGE.

Daniel SMay 28th, 2018 at 2:02 pm

I also had 8 treatments over a 30 day period in a VA hospital in Virginia. I was told that
the only side effect I would have is temporary memory loss that would return to normal
in 2-4 weeks. I was certainly misinformed.
The treatments I received was in October and November, 2015. I forgot my children’s childhood and much, much more. What I’ve lost has not returned.
I do not recommend this treatment at all.

Janine CostelloAugust 14th, 2018 at 10:54 pm

It’s been 20 years since ECT and there is permanent memory, vocabulary, and I am now disabled.
Medical marijuana would have been a better option than ECT.
It is time for justice and accountability.

Nanette RoederAugust 15th, 2018 at 3:19 pm

ECT needs to be banned no mater how many treatment 1 or 36 treatment I had. It has ruined my life. Such extended memory loss long n short term. Even took away memories of a son I had to bury. I don’t have cherishable of both my children. I still have loss of memories from 3 days ago. People think I lie when I say I don’t remember but it’s the truth. I DONT REMEMBER My heart breaks reading these comments but comforting to know I’m not alone. I could go on n on about how I feel but I have a hunch u all know. I’m sorry we r in this group

Nanette RoederAugust 15th, 2018 at 3:22 pm

Hugs to you all

Jake ZollnerOctober 2nd, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I was involuntarily committed to a hospital for basically “not eating”. I tried to explain to them that I was experiencing the worst motion sickness and nausea that I’d ever experienced, but they didn’t listen. Every time I tried to eat I would throw up. They said my MRI and CT Scan came back normal, so they sent me up to the psychiatric floor. They put a feeding tube up my nose, which was probably necessary, but then they court ordered me through some television court to 12 rounds of ECT, 3 times a week for 4 weeks, as well as a forced medication injection called Invega Sustenna. After about 4 or 5 rounds of ECT I really wanted out, so I started trying to eat, but I threw up my first 3 or 4 meals. Then despite an unbelievable amount of motion sickness and nausea I was able to keep food down. They continued the ECT until the 12 rounds were done, but not before putting Ketamine in my IV while under anesthetic in the ECT. As I woke up from the Anesthetic on the 11th round of ECT, I couldn’t breathe and my heart monitor was going off, like I was having anaphylactic shock. I finally caught a breath and the heart monitor went back to normal after about 30 seconds and they told me I was having a reaction to a medication that was “intended for another patient”. The 12th round of ECT concluded without incident, but I must say, ECT was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had in my life. This story gives me a little hope for legal action, but thinking of all the cases that have been dismissed, I know the odds are stacked against me. Since then I’ve been diagnosed with a neurological condition called Nystagmus, which causes involuntary eye movement, and was the original reason I went to the hospital. I’d say ECT didn’t make this condition any better, maybe even worse. Since ECT I’ve experienced some memory loss, inability to imagine like I used to, and these strange blank outs of the mind where it feels like my brain resets all the time. Heaven send hell away with these ECT Programs.

Joyce GammOctober 23rd, 2018 at 7:45 am

I had many years of vet treatments and I have to say that they probably saved my life. I was an inpatient for two week of treatment initially and than continued as an outpatient for many years. I do have memory loss. I have a big problem with word recall and my family will tell me about different things that happened during the years I was having etc. I just don’t remember a lot of thing things that happen. I feel like I lost 2007 completely. But I must say I’m total well when it comes to my mental health. I suffered from sever depression and tried to off myself several times. Not really wanting to die just wanting the pain of depression to end. Yep I have deficiencies still, but I’m well and it’s well worth the memory loss. Who needs to remember that pain. Word recal is much better but not perfec. If I had to do it shrink I would.

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